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Ep. 124 – The Big Peach Ride + Run Podcast with Guest Jeff Leininger

The Big Peach Ride + Run Podcast is hosted by Big Peach Running Co. Founder, Mike Cosentino & Director of Marketing, Dave “D2” Martinez.  This week on the Ride + Run Podcast we talked to Jeff Leininger, Adventure Racer, Race Director, & Owner of If you haven’t heard about adventure racing, this is a great episode to learn more about this great sport!

Fitness Insecurity

Hello, Friends,

I had a great time talking about adventure racing and finding out that it is thriving! I had thought that adventure racing participation had dwindled and that there weren’t any races. Last year when I heard about the return of the Eco-Challenge on Amazon Prime, I thought it was back and we’d see an increase of new participants. It turns out that many of the local adventure races continued and have been thriving. With the return of Eco-Challenge, I do expect it’ll reach a broader audience and we’ll see an increase in participation. If you’re a runner, cyclist, triathlete, ultra runner, or simply looking for a challenge in a group environment, you may want to look into adventure racing.

Check out the episode and the show notes below for a brief history of adventure racing!

1st Adventure Race – 1989 The Raid Gauloise or The Raid

  • New Zealand
  • 5 Person Co-ed Team
  • 8 – 12 days of racing with multiple checkpoints
  • Multiple disciplines – hike/trekking, biking, kayaking, mountaineering
  • 1989 – 2003

The book I mentioned, Surviving The Toughest Race on Earth by Martin Dugard (2011), covers 2 races – Madagascar & Borneo and then the author organizes his own team to compete.

Eco-Challenge 1995 – 2002 –

  • Returned in 2019 Fiji
  • Amazon Prime – August 2020
  • Mark Burnett competed in The Raid in 1993
  • Discovery Channel  then USA Network
  • Later Mark Burnett created Survivor on CBS as well at other reality TV shows

The Eco-Challenge made adventure racing popular or at least brought awareness of this sport to the masses. Which spurred many others to start up their own races.

Jeff Leininger

Jeff Leininger with has over 20 years of experience racing (over 200 races) and producing endurance events.